Great British Menu showcases the best foraged foods
The cooking served up on popular BBC show The Great British Menu 2012 has been exceptional. One reason why is because it has showcased some of the best foraged ingredients in the UK.
This year’s theme ‘pushing the bounds of gastronomy’ has proven foraging to be at the forefront of food innovation.
One man who appreciates cutting-edge cuisine, and tends to grab ingredients from his very own doorstep is contestant Paul Foster. He was knocked out at the last hurdle after competing with Daniel Clifford for a place in the final.
During the contest Foster used mugwort, hogweed and ribwort plantain in his dishes. Mugwort is found in most parts of England. It grows on plants and the leaves are smooth and of a dark green colour.
The herb is said to have got its name because it was once used to flavour drinks. Some believe the name was actually derived from the word ‘mug’. Paul Foster has shared recipes in the past, one being a chilled mugwort tea. This involves heating sugar and water together to make light syrup, boiling it, removing the heat and adding the mugwort. Then you let it chill in the fridge and add yet more mugwort before leaving it to infuse for 12 hours.
Other contestants who have caught the foraging bug include Stephanie Moon who didn’t make it into the quarter finals of the North East heats. She has boasted in her personal blog of using dandy lions to brighten up salads. The female chef has been blogging about foraging for roughly four years now and believes that there is a lot of interest in wild food at the moment. Check out her recipes, they could give you some ideas of your own.
If The Great British Menu is anything to go by then foraging is set to be the big food trend of 2013!